High protein, and a low carbohydrate pasta almost sounds too good to be true. However, by the power of the ‘P’ aka pea protein you pasta lovers can now indulge in an incredible pasta dish! Pea Protein may sound obscure, but shown in this recipe you can have a lot of fun by using this stuff!
Here is why Pea protein is essential for your recipes!
1. Pea protein powder bakes beautifully (here’s evidence!) Unlike whey or casein, it never rises and takes over your baked food, drying everything up and making it come out rubbery. Sure, it has other issues (like the fact that it can make food far too dense and, if not sweetened correctly, can make your desserts have a weird savory undertone) but it retains moisture beautifully and is perfect for dairy-free baking.
2. Pea protein is often sold with no other ingredients added in and it’s easy to find it organic and/or non-GMO form. I really dig this because I’m of the belief that the less ingredients a powder has and the better quality it is, the better it is to consume. What’s the point of a random bunch of XYZs, right?
3. Pea protein powder is PERFECT to make savory foods with! Things like protein wraps, protein tortillas, protein pizza, Protein Mac N Cheese, Protein Lasagna, and pretty much all kinds of low-carb pasta dishes – like the one in this post.
OK with all that said, allow the world’s best kept secret to be shared with you for this brand new pasta recipe.
1 large or two medium pulled chicken breast (see Directions for more on this)
1 small finely chopped onion (or, if you’re feeling lazy, onion granules)
1/4 cup of pea protein powder
2 tbsps of coconut flour
1 cup of milk (whole cow’s or cartoned coconut)
1/2 to 1 handful (50g to 100g) of sharp cheddar cheese
Pepper to taste
Herbamere of salt to taste
Herbs to garnish (I used fresh parsley but basil would also be nice here)
2-3 packs (200g each) of Low-Carb penne pasta
1. First, pull your chicken breast apart. The way you do this is as follows: Boil the chicken, let it cool, and proceed to pull it apart with your fork or hands. Easiest thing on earth.
2. In a nonstick saucepan further nonsticked with some low-cal spray or coconut oil, fry your onion until nicely browned. If you’re using granules, skip this step.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan and cook at medium heat, stirring constantly, so that your sauce comes together. If you find that the sauce is becoming TOO thick, add a more milk. If it’s too watery, add a bit more of the pea protein. Taste it to ensure it hits all the right notes. You might want to add more cheese, more salt, more pepper, some nutmeg, or, well… whatever you fancy.
4. Drain a couple of packs of Low-Carb Penne (or whichever low-carb pasta you’re using to make your pasta dish). Rinse and dry them well.
5. Once the sauce is nice and thick, throw in your pulled chicken and the pasta. Mix everything together.
6. At this stage, you can serve the whole thing OR, if you want to up your aesthetic points, add a bit more cheese on top and stick it under the broiler for ten minutes.
7. Garnish with more of the herbs and… PRESTO! Ready to munch.
Macros per serving (out of four huge and really filling ones): 206kcals, 18g protein, 3g carbs (out of which 2g is fiber so net carbs: 1g!) and 9g fat.
Notes for taking your pasta sauce up to another level:
1. When you reach step 2 in the directions above, add some chopped bacon (or chopped ham) to the onions. This gives a Carbonara element to the sauce that you can further exploit by adding a whole egg or two to it after step 5 above.
2. If you are vegan and want to end up with a vegan pasta dish, ditch the cheese (and the chicken, of course) and add nutritional yeast + some extra virgin olive oil instead.
3. Consider adding some steamed broccoli – or cauliflower – to the sauce when you reach step 5 to end up with a veggie-rich sauce.
4. Play around with your cheeses! Use parmesan, for example, or gruyere or, if you want to make your sauce creamier still, add some mascarpone or ricotta to the sauce once you reach step 5.
5. Turn the whole recipe into a chicken salad by adding some mayo, raw chopped (red) onion or spring onions, and eating it cold.